You love living in the city, but that doesn’t mean you never want to spend your time doing some epic adventures in beautiful nature. The problem is it’s hard to know where the beautiful nature is. If you want to eat a gyro at 3 am you know exactly where to go, but if you want to ride your bike next to a babbling brook you’re clueless. The truth is every city has great public parks that are close enough for you to get there within a half-days drive. No, this isn’t some terrible public park that is just a dumpster surrounded by grass, we’re talking some seriously radical outdoor adventures in some incredibly scenic surroundings.
If you’ve got the itch to get outside the city and enjoy some wilderness try one of these city adjacent outdoor adventures.
Near Atlanta: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
You only have to drive three hours outside of Atlanta to hit the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. You will find yourself right at the Tennessee-North Carolina border and at the front of a huge park that’s over 500,000 acres. You can hike for 800 miles in this park which also includes part of the Appalachian Trail so you should be able to get your hiking fix. Heads up, this park is also within a three-hour drive of Chattanooga, Nashville, Knoxville, and Charlotte so if you live in any of the surrounding cities, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great option for you to get out in the wilderness.
Near Albuquerque: Sandia Mountains
Albuquerque is actually bordered by the Sandia Mountains on the eastern side, so they should be pretty easy to find. Once you get there, you will find plenty of trails to bike or hike on. If you’re looking to get in the water then hop in the Rio Grande that runs directly through the city and hop on a paddleboard or a kayak and get your adventure on. New Mexico is full of fantastic options for outdoor activities that are easily accessible no matter where you live, so if these two options don’t thrill you then you should have no problem finding another one that is extremely close.
Near Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park
If you live in Seattle then you are less than 90 miles away from the breathtaking Mount Rainier. You can enjoy the many beautiful wildflowers on some amazing day hikes, or if you’re really looking to test yourself you can even hike to the summit of Mount Rainier in an epic three-day adventure. Just make sure you’re in good enough shape first or else this trip will be a total nightmare.
Near Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park
If you’ve lost all your money in Vegas then maybe it’s time to try the financially stable activity that is hiking in the beautiful 40,000-acre park known as Valley of Fire State Park. You can hit some of the 25 miles of hiking trails and then when the night hits you can stare at the unbelievable Milky Way that shines brightly through the darkness of this beautiful natural park.